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Genome Assembly and Analysis of the North American Mountain Goat Species-Level Responses

G3 Genes Genomes Genetics Daria Martchenko, Rayan Chikhi, and Aaron B. A. Shafer

The North American mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) is an iconic alpine species that faces stressors from climate change, industrial development, and recreational activities. This species’ phylogenetic position within the Caprinae lineage has not been resolved and their phylogeographic history is dynamic and controversial. Genomic data could be used to address these questions and provide valuable insights to conservation and management initiatives. We sequenced short-read genomic libraries constructed from a DNA sample of a 2.5-year-old female mountain goat at 80X coverage. We improved the short-read assembly by generating Chicago library data and scaffolding using the HiRise approach. The final assembly was 2,506 Mbp in length with an N50 of 66.6 Mbp, which is within the length range and in the upper quartile for N50 published ungulate genome assemblies. Comparative analysis identified 84 gene families unique to the mountain goat. The species demographic history in terms of effective population size generally mirrored climatic trends over the past one hundred thousand years and showed a sharp decline during the last glacial maximum. This genome assembly will provide a reference basis for future population and comparative genomic analyses.

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